May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
Dec. 19, 2005
/ 18 Kislev, 5766
Definition of fan has become outdated
I held my father's hand as we walked into the stadium. I wore a cap. I carried a glove. I ate a hot dog. I clapped constantly. When one of our players struck out, I said, "That's OK," mimicking my father, who added, "We'll get 'em next time."
I remember every vivid detail of my first sporting event, from the seat colors to the greasy food. What I don't remember is if our team won.
I guess it didn't matter.
I was a fan back then. I am not one anymore. I surrendered that option when I took this job. A fan, as defined by the dictionary, is "an ardent admirer." To be honest, under that definition, I'm not sure how many fans are left in this country.
Sure, people call themselves "fans." And today, many "fans" in Detroit are expected to brave the winter weather for the Lions-Bengals game at Ford Field. But they are not coming to cheer the home team. They are coming to boo it, to march around the stadium in protest, to howl endlessly for the firing of the team's president.
I'm not sure what I call that.
It doesn't sound like fandom.
It's hard to imagine a "fan" of a movie star such as Julia Roberts screaming at her because she took a bad part, or a "fan" of writer Stephen King calling a radio show demanding his publisher fire him. If you don't care for their work anymore, you move on.
But in sports, somehow, we don't move on, we move in. We throw things on the court. We unfurl nasty banners. We scream threats and curses.
We start obscene chants. We sing a player's name and add the word "sucks!" We throw beverages at preening athletes (Pistons-Pacers last year). We throw beer bottles at the visiting team's busses (the LSU-Tennessee football game this fall). We jeer draft picks. We scream for trades.
Decades ago, if our team lost, we might commiserate at the coffee shop. Today, we spew venom across the Internet, we speed-dial a sports talk radio station, we scream into a TV camera. We give ourselves names ("SuperFanFreak"). We get famous for selling our loyalty on eBay. We imagine ourselves as equals. Every fan a coach. Every fan a general manger.
We demand our "rights." We say we are "sick" of losing. The whole relationship is like a tired husband and his tired wife, quick to anger, quick to battle, quick to see love turned to resentment. I don't know what you call that.
It doesn't sound like fandom.
Of course, the teams themselves are hardly blameless. Coaches and general managers take the money and run. High-priced players refuse to sign autographs or demand to be traded. Owners raise ticket prices so high, a fan feels entitled to excellence or else.
Meanwhile, in the media, it is vogue to be cynical and acid-tongued. I've done it myself. You show too much "admiration" (see the definition of fan), they call you a "homer."
So today, in Detroit, "fans" will gather en masse to express not support, but anger. And they will protest a team making money from failure, while buying angry T-shirts and boosting ratings of entities making money from, well, failure. And the very media that often has egged them on will race down and cover them.
And perhaps this grants them their truest wish: to be watched and written about on Sunday afternoon, instead of the players.
The whole thing has gotten so loud, so profane and so drunken, I'm not sure what it is anymore. But I know what it isn't.
It isn't a little boy and his father, holding hands and watching sports heroes. They called that fandom. But those days are gone.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.
© 2005, THE DETROIT FREE PRESS
DISTRIBUTED BY TMS, INC.
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K